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Depression is a normal response to loss

Depression is a normal response to loss

For many people either ringing GriefLine’s helpline or seeing a counsellor, depression is increasingly the major reason for their seeking help.

“What many people do not realise is the various shades of depression, all of which are a normal part of loss and grief,” GriefLine CEO Catherine Cini said.

“Many people have what we call ‘reactive’ depression which is a response to a major stress such as a break up, death of a family member, divorce, or workplace harassment,” Ms Cini said.

“There are others who have clinical depression with accompanying feelings of sorrow, emptiness, worthlessness, and lack of joy. Most cases are highly treatable,” she added.

Ms Cini said it was important for anyone dealing with grief to connect with people they feel safe with.

“This is one reason why we established the helpline: people do not grieve well alone. They need a listening ear, and the feeling they are supported and cared for,” she said.

Her top eight tips for coping with grief are:

  1. Expect to have sad, depressed moods, loss of appetite, insomnia.
  2. Do have a support person, a safe place, to tell the story.
  3. Expect that you will grieve for some time.
  4. Do seek help if suicidal thoughts prevail, unable to function or perform simple tasks.
  5. Accept the reality of the loss.
  6. Process and experience the pain of grief.
  7. Adjust to change.
  8. Integrate the loss into life.

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